The recurve bow is a marvel of less than modern technology that has stood the test of time. There are still hunters today that take animals with these beautiful weapons.
They are not the same as those carried in the Steppe by the horseback riding soldiers of Genghis Khan but the design is similar. The beautiful arched wood that generates such power that it can stop big game.
There are citations as far back as 800 b.c about a traditional bow like the recurve. Unlike the easy curve in a longbow the recurve has different and distinct characteristics of its own.
The body is shaped by heat and a straight bow would have its limbs recurved to increase the force needed to pull it back and launch the arrow.
Modern day recurves come in a few varieties that I think are worth discussing here. We may touch on any one of the following variations in the review to follow. They are all impressive designs and will work for many applications.
Still, I think it’s important we talk a bit about each one so you can recognize some lingo and understand what you might be buying if you are in the market for a recurve bow.
The traditional recurve bow is made completely of wood. More importantly it is crafted from one piece of wood in a nearly magic process to watch as the wood is shaved down to the perfect point and the limbs are curved by heat to make the perfect shape.
To me there are few things as beautiful as a hand crafted, traditional recurve bow. Of course, all that beauty comes with a higher price.
The takedown is an impressive option because it basically looks and acts just like a recurve bow but it has removable limbs so it can be “taken down” and carried easier. These bows are sometimes all wood or sometimes a wood and composite combination.
The composite still holds that great energy creating shape but is made of composite materials. These are very affordable for someone just looking to shoot some arrows from a traditional bow before committing to a more expensive model.
Recurve Bow Reviews
Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow
This is a very popular bow that is in a lot of retailers. The reason is, it’s a great starter bow! The bow itself is made of great quality and its form a respectable brand as well.
The Samick Sage Takedown Recurve Bow can be bought in several pull weights which means if you can pull back 25 lbs. or 60 lbs. you can shoot this recurve.
That makes a huge difference because it can cover not just a wide range of strength levels but also of opportunities.You can shoot archery and take big game with bow that has interchangeable limbs.
This 62” bow comes with a B-50 bowstring and arrow rest. It might seem like a large bow at over 5 ft. long but I think many shooters will appreciate what affect those long limbs have on the pull of the bow.
It can be upgraded with brass bushings, a stabilizer, sight and quiver that attaches directly to the bow. I am a fan of instinctive shooting so I would leave out the sight.
This is a takedown so the limbs are very important. They are removable and constructed of hard maple and black fiberglass. They each carry a single tapered knob to affix each limb and metal limb pocket design to be screwed into.
Quality limbs are essential as well as quality that keeps them in place. Separate limbs can be purchased to increase or decrease the weight of the model you purchase. That said, you can initially buy any pull weight between 25 and 60 lbs. to start.
This bow was reviewed by almost 1000 people and 81% of them gave it 5 stars. That doesn’t happen by accident. Most of the reviews gush about the quality and the great price of this bow. You will have a great bow for under $50. It is one that a reviewer proudly proclaimed took down his first deer.
Interchangeable draw weight
Samick Sage Takedown Summary:
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Comes with an arrow rest
Maple and fiberglass construction
Just under $50
Bear Archery Grizzly Recurve Bow Right Hand
From the best name in recurve bows the Bear Archery Grizzly is an example of what is possible at the highest end of traditional bow production. There is no competition when it comes to traditional bows.
If you are sold on the idea of hunting and shooting a traditional bow. The Bear will give you something to be excited about. It is an investment in quality but one that is well worth the money.
This bow is made from strong, hard-rock maple and features an overlay of high strength fiberglass to protect the bow and add strength.
Every piece of this bow has been considered and is made with quality and craftsmanship in mind. The arrow rest is covered in bear hair and a leather side plate. It comes with a Dacron Flemish string.
The grizzly is a legendary bow from a company making the best since 1950. Bear archery claims the grizzly to be sure shooter for any skill level. So, though this may be a top-quality bow it could be just the one you are looking for.
“This is the greatest bow I’ve ever shot.”
Was a remark by one of the by one of the reviewers. People spoke both about nostalgia and performance when it came to reviewing this great recurve.
It seems there is nothing out there like a Bear when it comes to a traditional, one piece recurve. The bow will run you just under $400 and that may seem like a steep price but you will always pay for the best.
Top name in recurves
Bear Archery Grizzly Summary:
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Dacron Flemish string
High strength fiberglass bow
Leather side plate
Just under $400
PVC Recurve Bow FLAT BLACK
One of the latest creations in the recurve world is that of the PVC recurve bow. It is just what it sounds like a bow made from heated PVC.
I have never shot one myself but I have seen them shot and I can understand the merit. They are also incredibly inexpensive. Many do not feature an arrow rest but have become inexpensive answers to those interested in shooting arrows for very little money.
This model is very simple and is specifically designed for target shoots and small game. It is a 45lb draw weight and a 30 inch draw length. It is left and right hand compatible.
Even more minimalist is the paracord bow string. You cannot help but look at this bow both as a great value and an impressive survival tool. It’s made of such simple materials and could easily protect you and kill small game as well.
The flat black design allows for customization and could be spray painted in any color you like. It’s rare, but this is a recommendation from those who produce the bow. A lot of the pretense is gone from this bow and it’s the most inexpensive, yet still effective ways to start shooting.
The reviews were great on this model. People were very pleased with how well it worked for the price. It’s clear that this move to PVC still creates bows that are effective. The price is hard to argue with at just over $50. You will struggle to find a such a bargain anywhere else.
No arrow rest
PVC Recurve Bow Summary:
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Made from heated PVC
Left and right hand compatible
Just over $50
Junxing Recurve Bow Adult Archery Right-Handed Bow
Junxing is a manufacturer for Alibaba and creates sporting equipment out of China. I know what you are thinking but I would suggest you read on. This is a value bow. I looked around for a bow out of China that was backed by good reviews and I will tell you that wasn’t an easy task.
This Junxing recurve is a bow that will get the job done at a price that is comparable to the PVC bow above. I appreciate buying American more than the next guy but I also understand hard decisions sometimes come down to the wallet.
This bow is constructed from strong fiberglass limbs with maple lamination. These are made of the same material as your average fishing rod.
The power is there and the durability is there, as well. The riser is made of hardwood and has a great stained finish to it. The Junxing certainly looks the part when it comes to a reliable recurve bow.
Though the bow is a great option for any experience level it is designed for right hand shooters. This is based on the arrow rest and which side it falls on.
Junxing makes left handed bows as well so you are not in the dark on that one. With a 28lb draw weight this bow is easy to shoot no matter what hand is pulling the string.
It would be a great option for small game or target shooting. If you could get in close range with a nice sharp broad head, you could take deer with this as well. Shot placement would be vital as a 28lb draw weight wouldn’t bust through a shoulder bone easily.
This bow also comes with a ton of add ons. As if the bow itself at the price was not enough of a deal you get a package that features a bow string, bow sight and a rest.
I am not a big fan of the bow site on traditional archery. I think the process of instinctive shooting is a much better method. Still, that is your decision to make and with this package you have the option to try both.
As I said it was hard to find a bow out of China with that deep China discount that reviewed well and didn’t have complaints about the limbs snapping off or other detrimental quality issues.
People love this little bow for what it is. It’s a recurve bow that is under $90 and that’s a deal you won’t find anywhere else. Based on customer comments, it shoots well, it assembles easily and the only complaint was that one person got the wrong sized bow string in their package.
The Junxing is a cheap foreign option but without the quality concerns. If the PVC is just too much of a toy this is your next best option.
Bow Sight and rest included
Junxing Recurve Bow Summary:
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Strong fiberglass construction
Just under $90
Even if you purchase one of these great bows just to shoot archery you will be taking part in something incredible. Shooting arrows at targets has an amazing ability to silence the world around you.
It is nearly therapeutic when you realize the world fades out and it’s just you, the bow and the target. Even the space between seems but a consequence of the shot to be made.
Other great uses for the recurve bow are hunting and even survival. It’s not uncommon that many survivalists extol the virtues of having a silent weapon like the recurve bow in a survival situation. It can both produce meat as well as keeping quiet about it the way a firearm just cannot.
When shooting a recurve, you will develop what is known as instinctive shooting. I mentioned this in the review and thought we should talk about it briefly.
When you become an instinctive shooter, you learn to lean on your technique and though making various shots at different lengths and angles allow your body to aim.
It sounds mythical but after some practice it really starts to work. When it comes to traditional archery instinctive shooting is the way to go.
Hopefully one of these bows offers you something you were looking for when reading this review. I offered one of each bow style we discussed at the head of the review.
From the strange PVC composite to the world class beauty of the Bear. The Junxing is for the beginner on a tight budget and that’s important, too.
The recurve is a beautiful piece of equipment. If you fall in love with shooting one, you fall hard. I hope you find your niche in front of a target at 30 yards.